I have my iMac calibrated with an eye one, and using shades and Dark adapted, I have my colour and brightness under control.
We design a lot of posters for wide format, and brochures, business card, etc for offset print. We have never had an issue with the colour coming out wrong, as what we seen on our screens is what is been printed. For work which we use transparencies, we always do a press check.
But as I said we use iMac 24" screens and we don't have an issue with colour or brightness, our design work is always printed to what we see.
I would caution about using the program "Shades" because of two problems that I nencountered in installing Shades on a new 24" iMac.
Problem 1. Shades inteferes with many other programs, specifically Aperture and iPhoto. In fact Aperture would not start because it could no longer find the graphics card. iPhoto would display thumnails but not the large image. Other stange things also happened to the iMac
Problem 2. It is very easy to dim the display to total darkness and everything on the dispaly including the control for Shades goes black. I called Applecare and we tried to remove Shades, but it did not appear in the Applications folder I finally found a recovery procedure on the Charcoal site for both the dark screen problem and the uninstall problem, using another computer to access the website. Shades installs as a system program, nor as a application so even if you try to do a search for it, it can not be found because it gets embeddd into the OS
I would recommendthe following applications, instead
My preference is for DarkAdapted - once the brightness is set, do not close the application but leave it running by minimizing the application; otherwise, the brightness adjustment is cancelled
I have 24" alu glossy imac + i1 calibrator. For me best solution was downloading additional software (i1 was not sufficient): Coloreyes ofers 10 day fully functional demo ... that is enough time to make your own profile (LCD displays are not so prone to changes as CRTs are). Coloreyes lets you make a custom profile with desired luminance level (i1 does not). I have made a few for me with different luminance levels and white points ... If someone is interested in these profiles ... let me know.
Hope that helps ...
Thank you for your message.
Brightness control and color calibration are actually two separate issues. Brigthness is usually controlled by adjsuting the brightness of the backlight on an LCD display and since this function is display dependent, it is usually done outside the color calibartion process, The problem with the 24" iMac is that the native brightness control does not have enough range. Using a i1 photospectrometer I measured the default(maximum) brightness of the iMac display at around 400 nits. Using the display brightness slider under System Preferences I was able to get the brightness down to about 200 nits. This level is still well above the 120 nits recommended for photo editing work and Apple Care did not have a solution.. So you are right, some third party software is needed to further adjust the brightness. After testing several free software packages I found DarkAdapted to be suitable.
Color calibration is done by remapping the input/output tables for the display and is normally independent of brightness control.. However, in principle, the maximum brightness could also be done via color calibration, but this would adversely affect the number of colors and the dynamic range of the display. Color calibration changes the output mapping tables for the display to improve color accuracy. For example, the default values at level 100 might be 100, 100, 100 for the R,G,B colors but with color calibration the values might look like 100, 90, 80 which would reduce the contributions of the green and blue components. A color calibaror may be able to reduce the display brightness by remapping the levl 100 outputs to 50, 45, 40, but this means that one would not be using the full color range available (e.g. effectively reducing the color range from say 8 bits per color to 7 bits per color).and so for most calibration devices this is not done.
Most color calibration devices do not attempt to adjust brightness and do the calibration(color mapping) with whatever the user has set the brightness level at. I have three calibration devices: a high-end i1 photospectrometer (not the same as the i1 display colorimter), a DTP 94 colorimter based system (Monaco) and a Spyder colorimeter based system) and they expect the user to manually adjust the brightness.. I have been in digital photogaphy for more than 10 years.and professionally do reasearch in digital image processing.
In any case, this problem of high display brightness is becoming a serious problem as most displays are used in high ambient light environments (offices and homes), not photo editing rooms and also consumers tend to associate quality with high brightness. This problem is compunded by the perceived need for high brightness in HDTV sets, which carries over to computer displays. Frankly, I am surprised that companies like Apple do not expicitly recognize the needs of photographers
I beg to differ on two points
- Coloreyes does address the brightness problem - to lowered my brigtness of 130 +, not as much as one would like but much more than any other solution that I know of that does not have other complications.
- sharing profiles probably will not help as the variance between monitors is often significant.
The people at coloreyes have been most helpful in responding to my questions and provided much help.
I am not disputing that a calibration program like Color Eyes can alter the display brightness. The question really is "how does it do this?". Is it by adjusting the backlight intensity (display dependent) or by remapping the color mapping tables for a lower maximum intensity as I have suggested in the example that I gave in my earlier post.. One way to check this is to examine the profile generated to see if the values inthe profile correspond to the full color range.
I have indicated that for the three calibration programs and devices that I have, the user is expected to adjust the display brightness manually and the color calibration is done with the "as set" brightness level.. It could be that Color Eyes has a built-in list of all available dsiplaya and is able to adjust the backlight level. So, if you happened to be communicating with the people at Integrated Color perhaps you can get this question answered. I would be quite interested to find out how ColorEyes actually does alter the monitor brightness level.
From their website:
A new Apple Monitor plugin has been incorporated so the user can select a luminance target and let the software adjust the Cinema display brightness directly on the fly. In the past a user could manually adjust the monitor using a meter to target a brightness value, but now that is all done automatically.
Hope that helps - the technology baffles me; but I am concerned only with the results (while also saving up to get a mac pro and better monitor).
Thanks for the information
You have answered my question, at least with respect to iMacs. I did look at the Integrated Color website It does appear that Color Eyes does have a data base of some monitors but not all.
In any case, it appears that Colour Eyes does allow adjustment of the brightness(LCD backlight) manually or via their monitor specific plug-ins prior to the actual color calibration process. Unfortunately, the software only supports colorimter devices such as the Spyder 3 and DTP-94 rather than the more precise photo spectrometers such as the iI photo spectroctrometer; otherwise I would be more interested in the software...
Hm ... interesting - I think iMac displays are just to limited for serious
color work. I have tried other ... software based solutions - like apps
which control brightness... but they interfere with calibration process - so
not much help there. But I can get decent enough results with Color-eyes
profile. I would like to see better LCD controls on iMacs, but after all it
is just a cheap all-in-one home-PC - so I tend not to be to critical. I also
use Eizo CG display on other machine. Eizo is beyond comparison ...
quality-vise, and price-vise.
thank you for all input!
This is an old thread but I thought Id chime in since there hasn't been a post in a bit and the Adobe forum comes up near the top of the Google search for this issue.
The 24" iMac is notorious ( at least in my own professional experience) for being too bright even at the lowest luminance setting..145 is about as low as it will go. I have held out on upgrading from my 20" iMac at home until I hear some good feedback on the new 27" iMac, in regards to calibration at least. In the studio I am using an Eizo Color Edge, so there really is no comparison to be made there. The 20" has no problem for me in going all the way to 0, if I wanted it to. Understandably, most people want the bigger monitor, with the added HD, RAM, GPU, and processor upgrades.
Anyways, I am a professional Photographer, teach privately and do a lot of tech work for Artist and Art Photographers that are bringing some or all of their process into the digital age. Many are using the 24" iMac, and after repeated attempts to get a satisfactory calibration with the EyeOne and Spider, I switched to the X-rite's Color Munki. The C.M. does a much better job and from my understanding of what is going on with on screen prompts, it will force the monitor into the luminance setting you have chosen, if you cannot achieve it manually, by tweaking the graphics card. That may be wrong, but I recommend to my clients that they use a luminance setting of 80-90, since they show their work printed and 80 has always worked best for me in matching print density to what I am viewing on screen. Also I do a lot of assignment work for magazines and had a number of density problems with my images printed on 4 color presses using the recommended 120 Luminance.
To recap for people that are skimming through- Color Munki by X-rite works well, for me, calibrating the 24" iMac and getting it's luminance down to at least 90. I use 80 at home, in the studio, and for my clients, because I have found this to be the best monitor luminance for accurate inkjet print density without numerous curves adjustments between test prints. Obviously if you are primarily showing "on screen", or sending work out to be custom printed you may prefer or need to use 110-130 for the luminance.
Yes it sucks that Apple failed to make these computers/ monitors ( as great as they are!) adjustable enough for professional use. Id like some RGB controls for the new ones as well ( I figure that would be relatively easy with LED displays), but that may be asking a lot.
Hope that helps!